Tottenham Hotspur were victorious in the first Carabao Cup semi final with a 2-0 win over Championship side Brentford yesterday evening.
Jose Mourinho’s side displayed high levels of discipline and professionalism throughout to overcome what could have been a large hurdle against a side looking to gain promotion to the Premier League this season.
Despite a lively start from the Bees, it didn’t take long for Spurs to open the scoring through an untracked Moussa Sissoko who met Sergi Reguilon’s perfect cross with a well placed header in the twelfth minute.
Spurs had control of the game from that point on although Brentford did show signs some signs of promise, only for the final pass to let them down.
Thomas Frank’s men thought they had found the equaliser through the Championship’s top scorer Ivan Toney in the 63rd minute, only for VAR to disallow the goal for offside by the tightest of margins.
Sensing the need for a greater lead, Spurs upped the tempo and just seven minutes later, found themselves two goals in front through Heung-Min Son’s strike twenty minutes from time.
If hopes of a Brentford comeback were not dashed by then, they certainly were when VAR was called into action again to make matters worse for the visitors.
After a brief review of the pitch side monitor, referee Mike Dean showed midfielder Josh Dasilva a straight red card for an awful challenge that left Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg fortunate to have escaped with only a nasty cut to the shin.
Some credit must go the Bees who did not give up even in the last few moments and continued to get into promising positions but a mixture of alert defending and a lack of any finishing touch prevented any way through for Brentford.
Spurs will be happy with their night’s work and will now look forward to the Carabao Cup final at Wembley which has been pushed back to the 25th April in the hope that a number of spectators may be able to attend by then.
They will face either Manchester United or Manchester City, who face each other tonight in the second semi final in what promises to be a really exciting derby.
Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, Mourinho said “We have had matches this year against the biggest clubs in the country, but this is game was very important for us.”
“We now have this final in our pockets for three months, but we have to forget it and focus on everything else coming up. But when it arrives we have to be ready to go there and fight for the trophy.”
Despite the result, Thomas Frank was left feeling upbeat about his side, who had been on a 16 game unbeaten run in all competitions prior to last night: “I’m very proud of my team and I hope the fans are unbelievably proud.”
“We played with top attitude, we were brave and it’s massive to come here to Tottenham’s stadium and compete against a world-class team. But if you want to win a game like this you need the margins and we didn’t have the margins.”
The attention now shifts to the FA Cup for both sides as Spurs visit Marine of the eighth tier of English football and the Bees welcome Middlesbrough to the Brentford Community Stadium.